School Reports 2018
[Extended edition]


Type of agency & ownership:  Creative agency, owned by Dentsu Aegis Network
Nielsen billings 2017: £17m (+31%)
Declared income: n/s
Total accounts at year end: 16
Accounts won: 6 (biggest: American Express)
Accounts lost: 1 (Sky Bet)
Number of staff: 81 (+14%)
Key personnel: Jason Gonsalves, chief executive; Paul Jordan, executive creative director; Angus Macadam, executive creative director; Charlie Hurrell, managing director
Star player: n/s

Year in review

After a period beset by managerial upheaval, Mcgarrybowen entered 2017 with a settled leadership team and the chance to take stock in what was, by its own admission, a "head down and focus kind of year".

Some equilibrium seems to have returned. Yes, the agency failed to convert a couple of significant pitches: it lost out to Creature for the British Red Cross creative and strategy assignment, while Mother trumped it in the pitch for Debenhams. But other chances will doubtless come, and a series of briefs that arrived without a pitch gave it the opportunity to gear up without the added competitive pressure.

Having cleared the decks by ending its three-year relationship with Sky Bet (the account moved to Who Wot Why), the agency set about sweating its assets – most notably American Express. The London office will be the global hub for all Amex product work following the switch of all brand creative duties into Mcgarrybowen.

Elsewhere, it evolved its relationship with AB InBev, reintroducing the Budweiser frogs to help launch Bud Light in the UK and working to rejuvenate the Boddingtons beer brand. And, as the agency’s Sony Xperia work went global, there was a vote of confidence from Mondelez. The US food and drink giant, having added the European brief to the agency’s existing UK assignment for its Belvita breakfast bar, also appointed it to handle the UK account for its Green & Black’s chocolate.

Now it remains to be seen whether the agency’s "Dark but different" debut TV spot for the brand, a twist on the Little Red Riding Hood tale, is a sign of creative potency to come.

Agency's Year In A Tweet

"2017 was about groundwork, growth and some exciting new clients. A new chapter beckons for 2018."


Score this year: 4
Score last year: 5
How the agency scores itself: 7
Management strength: 5
Creativity: 6
Innovation: 5
New business: 5
Diversity: 6

Business performance and accounts

Gross income

Latest: £6.2m
Previous: £5.7m
Change: 9.90%

Operating profit

Latest: -£893,000
Previous: £73,000
Change: -1323.30%

List of total accounts Retained:

American Express


Western Union







Sony Xperia

JDE Tassimo


Michael Page



Bud Light

BBC 1Xtra

Top three spending accounts:

American Express (n/s)

Western Union (n/s)

Sony Xperia (n/s)

Number of retained accounts: 14
Number of accounts that are projects: 2
Biggest win: American Express (n/s)
Biggest loss: Sky Bet (n/s)



Haymarket award wins


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